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Day trip: Oregon Coast Aquarium, OR

The boys and I rode our bikes from South Beach SP where we were camping to the Oregon Coast Aquarium one afternoon. The ride was very easy and fairly short, about 20 mins. The boys loved it. They lead the way and locked up our bikes for us. What a a great start to our adventure!
Now, I have to say, as annual membership holders to the Monterey Bay Aquarium we are a bit spoiled but this was a lovely, intimate aquarium that focused on telling the stories of the Oregon Coast. There were inside and outside exhibits focusing on the coastal waters and the animals that live there. There were knowledgable and friendly volunteers, a touch pool, many interactive exhibits, a small educational play area for younger children and a cool walk through water tube, a cafe and a large gift shop.
Besides the water tube and watching my younger son at the touch pool, I loved the exhibit on the sand dollars and tube worms. My oldest was surprised by how much he enjoyed the outdoor seabird aviary.
We were all fascinated by the water tube aquarium and spent quite awhile in here watching the Skates, Bat Rays, fish and various sharks swim right overhead all native to the Oregon waters. I couldn’t wait to go swimming again in the ocean after our visit.
The wolf eel popped up for a quick photo op. Look at his bright blue color and lovely expression.  The animals are all so photo friendly at the aquarium.
I swear the Octopus was posing for me. It was like she was connecting and sharing herself with me through the glass. I have many great poses of her. This is a Giant Pacific Octopus, and according to the Aquarium, they live along the coast from southern CA to Alaska. They feed off crustaceans such as crabs and clams and use their ink as both a defense and a predatory move. They are considered quite intelligent, which I believe. I couldn’t help but wonder if she was lonely.

It was a lovely afternoon exploring the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Stop on by and say “hi,” to my pal the Octopus.

And one last cool fact, did you know that Sand dollars can stand up on edge when they are feeding?  Their fuzzy bodies are actually covered in spines and tube feet so tightly together on their bodies that they feel fuzzy soft. They catch their prey or algae with their spines and tube feet and lay back down flat when they are done eating. There is a time lapse video of the sand dollars in the aquarium, not to be missed.

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